For the past twenty-two years, the MassTLC Leadership Awards have celebrated the best and the brightest of the Massachusetts technology ecosystem. The sixteen award categories, including a newly added category for the Massachusetts Growth Company of the Year, highlight the vitality, innovation and importance of the region’s internationally respected technology industry. In addition, for the first time, MassTLC will honor the visionary organizations that are pioneering digital transformations to innovate and re-imagine the future of the Commonwealth’s leading industries in the form of the newly created Digital Transformation awards category.
Winners will be announced at the All Stars of Tech Winners’ Celebration on November 6 at Fenway Park.
In the meantime, let us introduce you to the finalists and the incredible work that they are doing here in Massachusetts – and how they are changing the world.
In the words of their nominators, meet the 2019 “CEO of the Year” finalists.
Tom Leighton, Akamai
Tom leads by example as a world-renowned expert in his field. Prior to founding Akamai and the content delivery industry in 1998, he was a theoretical computer scientist at MIT, where he earned his Ph.D. He holds more than 50 patents and served as Akamai’s chief scientist for 13 years prior to becoming CEO nearly seven years ago. He is the company’s most inspiring champion of breakthrough and continuous innovation.
Tom leads with a modest, self-effacing leadership style. When he travels, he prioritizes making time in his schedule to visit with employees at every local office, no matter how small – making himself accessible to employees at all levels in face-to-face town hall meetings where no questions are off the table. During the first six months of 2019, Tom visited Akamai employees in 26 cities and 15 countries around the world. One of the unwritten rules of Akamai’s corporate culture is, “No egos.” Akamai’s ego-minimizing culture is a reflection of Tom’s selfless character. He exemplifies and expects integrity from all and sees the responsibility of a public company as more than solely delivering the highest return to shareholders, routinely calling shareholder attention to Akamai’s recognition from third parties for ethical and responsible leadership.
Tom’s commitment to the principles of security and increasing accessibility is very personal and bigger than Akamai. His work extends beyond the company and into the tech community. As a math professor, he has been on a mission to increase the number of students pursuing STEM careers for over thirty years. While he is currently on leave from MIT as a professor, he continues to return to MIT as a lecturer allowing him the chance to bring the real world to the classroom to inspire tomorrow’s innovators. He helped to found the Akamai Technical Academy, which trains people from underrepresented populations for technical careers at Akamai and in the tech industry. So far in 2019,144 people have entered the program globally. Seventy people have participated in Cambridge; of those, 58 completed the program and 55 were converted to full-time Akamai employees.
Jacqueline Moloney, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Jacqueline is innovative and inclusive; she was an early pioneer in web-based learning, and she revolutionized the UMass Lowell division of Continuing Education to include award-winning online programs that now serve 25,000 students nationwide each year. An early proponent of integrating entrepreneurial lessons and opportunities throughout the campus life, she created UMass Lowell’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development and established DifferenceMaker, an award-winning, national model for entrepreneurial programming that engages more than 3,000 students a year in problem-solving activities and competitions.
In addition to serving as the primary investigator for the National Science Foundation grant to increase diversity in STEM faculty, Jacqueline founded an annual Womens’ Leadership Conference, now in its fourth year. She also served as architect and chief steward of the university’s current strategic plan, which cites “Global Engagement and Inclusive Culture” as one of its top priorities. She has also worked to ensure there are more leadership opportunities for women on staff and faculty and is the primary investigator on a $3.5 million National Science Foundation grant to close the gender gap in STEM faculty.
In the fall of 2018, UMass Lowell welcomed the largest class, most academically prepared, most diverse class in university history. Under Jacqueline’s direction, the university successfully completed its first-ever comprehensive campaign of $125 million – a full 18 months ahead of schedule. Under Jacqueline’s leadership, the university has been on a dramatic upward trend over the past decade. UMass Lowell is now ranked among the top 80 public universities in the country by the U.S. News & World Report, and for the third year in a row, the Chronicle of Higher Education has named UMass Lowell one of the 10 fastest-growing public research universities in the country.
Eric Mosley, Workhuman
The past year has been transformative for Workhuman. In 2018, Eric unveiled the company’s new offering, Workhuman Cloud, a suite of human applications to recognize and celebrate employees’ work and lives. Organizations using these applications are now able to leverage a connected solution where employees globally can transcend geographical, cultural, and logistical barriers to recognize each other’s work, provide feedback in real-time, and celebrate personal and professional milestones together. Today, the company is successfully helping make work more human for over 4 million people around the globe.
Eric has consistently introduced, supported, and championed a range of innovation programs at Workhuman from hackathons to ideation competitions. These not only assure employees that they are integral members of the team whose contributions are valued, but also help Workhuman improve its services and grow as a company. One of the biggest examples is the Workhuman Innovation (formerly GloboInnovation) program, for which employees from across the company’s global offices come together in friendly competition to develop innovations that can be put into play to help improve Workhuman products.
In February 2019, Workhuman, which was until then called Globoforce, rebranded itself to reflect its mission in its identity. Under Eric’s leadership, the company was renamed Workhuman, and its branding and messaging were refreshed to unequivocally and boldly convey its dedication to making work more human by encouraging inclusion, recognition, and gratitude in the workplace.
Martha Sullivan, Sensata
In September of 2018, Sensata acquired a California-based company that manufactures high-voltage contactors that serve electric vehicles. This acquisition was supported by Martha and her executive team, and immediately increased Sensata’s content and capabilities for electrification. The acquisition of GIGAVAC effectively doubled the company’s content on electric vehicles and positioned Sensata in a strong leadership position in this large and growing market opportunity. This acquisition was key in helping to ensure Sensata’s dominance in the high-growing applications of the future.
Martha has been able to successfully adapt Sensata’s strategy to continue growing the company’s core applications, while simultaneously investing in the future. Navigating this change required strong internal branding and very deliberate and consistent communication around Vision, Strategy, Mission, Purpose, and Goals. By sharing third-party data on end-markets, sharing customer data, and inspiring a strong vision of what could be, Martha brought the entire along on the journey towards a smarter, cleaner, increasingly electrified and autonomous world.
Martha has spearheaded two of the most impactful and engaging employee initiatives at Sensata in just the past couple of years: the creation of a Diversity & Inclusion function, and the launch of the company’s own non-profit focusing on supporting local communities and STEM learning.
Additionally, Martha ignited the launch of the Sensata Foundation, the Company’s own nonprofit. Under her guidance, the Company founded the Sensata Foundation to more closely support qualifying charitable entities that support the company’s core initiatives. Since that time, the Foundation has made or facilitated financial gifts of nearly $500,000 and the company has provided thousands of hours of support to local agencies. None of this would have been possible without Martha’s vision.
William Wagner, LogMeIn
Under Bill’s leadership, LogMeIn continues to innovate across a diverse product portfolio – including business lines of Unified Communications & Collaboration (UCC), Customer Engagement & Support (CES) and Identity & Access Management (IAM). His strong guidance has overall led LogMeIn in becoming one of the world’s top 10 public SaaS companies with world-class talent needed to foster innovation.
In the past 12 months, the company has made a number of highly significant strides and developments across all facets of its business and product lines, uniquely positioning it to drive trends in areas such as AI, security and UCC. In March, LogMeIn announced the rollout of a new brand, GoTo, encompassing its award-winning UCC suite of solutions. Along with its flagship meeting and webinar solutions GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar, the new product portfolio features the company’s first ever, truly integrated UCC solution, GoToConnect, as well as GoToRoom conference room solution. This continues the series of innovations LogMeIn announced for its UCC suite back in September, when it launched a completely redesigned user interface for webinar organizers, bringing about the next generation of GoToWebinar, the market-leading webinar tool.
Bill is the driving force behind LogMeIn’s vibrant culture and actively works to maintain a strong sense of community worldwide. Following LogMeIn’s completion of major shifts, mergers and acquisitions up through 2018, he flawlessly worked to keep the company and employees unified and prioritized culture. He took it upon himself to travel to the various offices to meet with incoming LogMeIn employees to answer their questions and share his vision for the future of the company.
Bill is a member of the Board of BUILD Boston and continues to support the nonprofit’s mission to use entrepreneurship to ignite the potential of youth from under-resourced communities and propel them to high school, college and career success. In addition to BUILD Boston, Bill also sits on the Board of Directors of ChurnZero and on the Board Akamai.